The Bailiwick’s Civil Contingencies Authority (CCA) set out today the changes it expects to be able to introduce to travel rules from the 1st July. This will remove some of the restrictions currently in place where the risk is low enable more travel to the UK and other parts of the Common Travel Area (CTA)*.
Work is continuing on the detail of the future travel regime, and the CCA is continuing to monitor global developments that may impact both the rules and the timing of the introduction (such as the new Variants of Concern). However, the Authority is confident the 1st July remains a realistic date for when new rules will be introduced and travel will no longer be based around the current categories determined by prevalence levels, but instead will focus on vaccinations, both locally and in travellers’ country of origin.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health said:
“Our vaccine programme is moving forward quickly and we’re getting closer and closer to that tipping point when it’s no longer the border restrictions that are the main way we protect our community, it’s having a vaccinated population. Our
vaccination programme is progressing really well, with 92% of the population who are over 50 years of age having had at least one dose of vaccine. That’s a real change from how we’ve thought of our COVID response over the past year but it’s a really positive one as we learn to live responsibly with COVID-19 because it means travel is now a much more viable option and it doesn’t carry with it the same risks as before.”
Dr Nicola Brink
The new travel regime will be much more closely aligned to the UK ‘traffic light’ system, and the testing and self-isolation requirements will largely depend on whether someone has come from what the UK considers to be a Green, Amber, or Red country. But for arrivals coming from within the Common Travel Area there will be no testing or self-isolation requirement. However, it is important to note that this may change should the situation change significantly in any country or region.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority said:
“This is a big and positive step, this will mean effectively the removal of border restrictions which have made travel very difficult for many Islanders, their friends and families for many months. For countries where there is still significant concern and are therefore still considered ‘amber’ or ‘red’ by the UK, we will maintain testing and self-isolation requirements, and we will override the UK list where necessary if we have any additional concerns about any destination. But our vaccine protection mean it could soon be disproportionate to impose those kinds of measures for travel to the UK itself and to countries that present an extremely low risk.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache
We will continue to monitor all developments and it is possible going forward there will be more unexpected changes at short notice, for example a new Variant of Concern could emerge that leads us to quickly reassess our rules. But that is part of how we and the world must now learn to live responsibly with COVID.
While there are details to work out before July, I believe we have the core rules for a system that keeps us safe and able to react quickly, but also enables free and unrestricted travel as much as is safely possible.”
More details on the plans for travel from July 1st can be found on covid19.gov.gg
*The Common Travel Area includes the United Kingdom, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland.
While it is currently the intention for all travellers from the CTA to be considered as ‘Blue’ when the new travel rules are introduced, the States of Guernsey can at any time determine that jurisdictions or regions within the CTA should be classified separately.